Arrow: Season 4/Episode 15 – “Taken”

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THERE BE SPOILERS HERE!

“Well, that happened.”

 

I should have talked about this more in my Flash review this week but I was glad to see some real progress on the season long fight against the bad guy, Zoom, and was similarly glad to see the same play out in this week’s Arrow as we see our heroes finally strike a meaningful blow at Damien Darhk.

This week’s episode is all about Darhk holding William, Oliver’s son, hostage to get Oliver to drop out of the mayoral race and endorse Darhk’s wife, Ruve Adams.  Our heroes quickly decide to try and fight but realize that they always get their asses handed to them when they fight Darhk head on.  This leads them to call in the help of, Vixen, a hero from Detroit so they can fight magic with magic.

Now as big a comic book nerd and TV lover as I am, I knew very little about Vixen’s backstory and her powers most of which I got from the amazing Justice League: Unlimited cartoon series.  I knew that she could take on the powers of certain animals via a totem of some sort as far as where that totem came from, her real name, and her origin story I was in the dark.  Unfortunately after watching this episode I am still mostly in the dark, only garnering a few details about her from conversations between her and Oliver.  I remember seeing something about an animated series about Vixen but even with being as plugged in as I am to the world of nerd stuff, it slipped by me and I never watched it and from the way that Arrow introduced the live action version of her character, it’s clear that I was supposed to have watched that series to know everything. (And after Oliver drops the line about them having an “animated” adventure, I half expected Stephen Amell to wink at the damn camera.)  I think that was a bit of a disservice to her character and the episode at hand because I felt that I was missing some needed info and had to stop to Google.  As annoying as that might be, I still think  Megalyn Echikunwoke did a great job of portraying her on screen and I would absolutely watch a full series with her as the title character. Arrow did a good job of translating her powers into live action and I would love to see them explored at length.  Although maybe redesign her costume so it doesn’t look like the wardrobe department bought it at the X-Men: First Class rummage sale.

After Oliver and Felicity leave a physical therapy session with Curtis’ husband, whom it was good to meet and get more back story on Curtis, they are approached by Damien Darhk who tell them that he has kidnapped William. Felicity, of course, asks who William is and Oliver is forced to tell her he was a 10-year old son.  Felicity is clearly shaken by this revelation and Oliver’s grave only gets deeper as Felicity finds out more and more people knew about William before her, including Malcolm Merlyn.  I think that was the final straw for Felicity.  At the end of the episode Felicity takes off her ring, tells Oliver she can’t do it anymore, gets up and walks out the door.  Yes…. Felicity can walk again! Thank you Curtis!  As great as it is to see her walk again I think is way too quick.  Curtis only have her the chip last episode and at the beginning of this episode she falls down after one step.  I get that it was a great scene seeing her literally walk away from Oliver but when looking back it doesn’t quite stand up to scrutiny.

The action in this episode was on par with what Arrow puts out on a weekly basis although nothing particularly stood out to me as amazing. Some rough spots did stick out to me though….  The scene where Oliver zip-lines between buildings was CG and it looked a little dodgy as well as the scene where Vixen flips over Darhk to steal his totem, that CG was just bad.  “Well that happened.”  Indeed Damien, indeed.  And speaking of the totem, I know a magic totem is the source of Vixens power so she sees it easily but how have the main heroes not figured out that Damien also has a magic totem until now?  Seems like something Constantine could have mentioned when he was in town.  (The line about Constantine LITERALLY being in hell was hysterical [for several reasons]).  And, again, speaking of not figuring things out that are right before your eyes, does Darhk really not know that Oliver and Co., are really Green Arrow and Co.?

Despite some dodgy computer graphics and some plot contrivances, this was another solid episode of Arrow.

Other notes:

  • It was really refreshing to see Oliver almost immediately cop to being Green Arrow to help calm Samantha down when she’s questioning how he will find William.
  • I can clearly tell, in this episode at least, that when Oliver and Darhk are fighting that Oliver is fighting a stunt double not Neal McDonough. Wig department needs to step it’s game up.
  • Why does anyone trust Malcolm Merlyn anymore? Seriously. I love John Barrowman and would like to see him continue on Arrow in some capacity  (until they write Captain Jack Harkness back onto Doctor Who as Capaldi’s companion for a full season, please and thank you) but people need to stop trusting him.
  • Dawwww, William’s new favorite hero is Green Arrow. Proud papa moment for Ollie.
  • I still think Samantha is going to be the one in the grave at the end of the season and William will have to come live with Oliver who will eventually train him in a pseudo Batman-and-Robin relationship.

 

WildeBeard’s Rating: – PATCHY BEARD – A mostly decent beard with a few all-to-noticeable bald spots.